Unlock the Secret to the Lens Flare in Photoshop – a PHLEARN Tutorial

It’s fun to add a Lens flare effect to a backlit image. However, Photoshop does not allow you to add the effect to a blank layer, meaning you cannot work with it non-destructively.

This secret that PHLEARN shares in this 6 mins video tutorial puts the lens flare on its own layer so that you can have full flexibility to edit it non-destructively. Have fun with warming or cooling the sun flare color, transforming the flare angle and masking out part of the flare to hide unwanted parts.

Software:   Photoshop

Skill level:  Basic understanding of Photoshop layer / blending mode & masking

Watch the video here

The work image

The work image

PHLEARN Lens Flare After

The Lens Flare applied on another layer – the secret unlocked!

Summarized for the busy person

  1.  Apply the Lens flare image to the image, then Ctrl + Z to Undo.
  2.  Create a new layer & fill it (Shift + Del) with black
  3.  Re-apply the last filter (the Lens flare obviously) – Menu / Filter / first option (Ctrl + F)
  4.  Change the layer blending mode to Screen – All in 4 steps!
  5. The next steps are only for editing the lens flare which is now on its own layer
  6. Change the hue of the lens flare
  7. Transform (Ctrl + T) the lens flare to change the size & angle of light
  8. Mask out unwanted parts of the flare

A secret worth unlocking indeed. So what are you waiting for? Time to let your imagination fly!

Making the image a Smart Object will not give you the same flexibility.

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3 comments on “Unlock the Secret to the Lens Flare in Photoshop – a PHLEARN Tutorial

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